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Lead & Children's Health & Media/Education Efforts

 
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Jennifer Taggart
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:20 am    Post subject: Lead & Children's Health & Media/Education Efforts Reply with quote

I'm not sure where to stick this comment, and please don't throw stones at me, but just have a comment. I know that we are working diligently to get some sense in the law. I've been reading comments on blogs and forums and have a concern. There are starting to be comments about lead not being a problem . . . I just want to caution that lead exposure remains a significant concern, and there are some items on the market that have elevated lead concentrations. I just caution that we don't want to get the children's health groups riled up. At least it was my opinion that our message was we are for children's safety, but against unnecessary testing, etc. As I've posted, I've found lead even in some textiles . . . so, in any event, just my thoughts - it just seemed that some blog entries, blog comments, forum posts and even news stories were making too light of a situation. You have to keep in mind that 1 in 5 kids in the US has blood lead levels about 5 ug/dL. While the action level is 10 ug/dl, the consensus is that there is no "safe" level of lead in the body, and drops in IQ occur at levels of 2.5 ug/dl. Most of this exposure is, of course, due to lead in paint, lead in household dust from lead being used in paint & as gasoline additive, and folk remedy exposure, but lead exposure is additive.

So, I guess I'm saying I just don't want to hurt our cause by being perceived as ignoring the potential for lead exposure.

Don't throw rocks.
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Cathe
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps we can safely object to the sweeping language, unmanageable requirements* and inclusiveness of the law. Obviously, we are not child-hating moneygrubbers. It would be so much better if the law had clearly targeted the areas where there is an existing problem. Public pressure could have brought about changes where there really is a potential problem (fabric companies who use lead in their ink, for example, or button manufacturers) rather than yet another law that only stirs up confusion and problems.

*I know that you don't want an exemption for small, one-of-a-kind cottage industries, and I am all for the "good of the many", but as a creator of unique, fine scrap quilts, the component testing is as undoable as the unit testing. I realize that that is probably going to happen, though, and it's good for everyone else.


Folk Remedies??
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Jennifer, The Smart Mama
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:43 pm    Post subject: Folk remedies Reply with quote

Folk remedies such as azarcon and greta, and several other Indian, Chinese and Central American folk remedies contain high levels of lead. Azarcon - used to treat stomach upset in babies - is usually 95% lead.
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Valerie Burner
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had heard that many imported natural remedies contain high levels of lead. And the FDA does nothing about this. (Don't get me started on imported, regulated pharmaceuticals...They're even worse.)

Please also be aware that chocolate is one of the top three food sources of lead. Last year there was a recall of an organic chocolate bar that had as much as 0.5 ppm in each bar. The FDA limit is 0.1 ppm.

Lead is addictive... Hmmmm. Could that be why chocolate is also so addictive?!
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Esther
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
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Location: ID Spudville

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know of the dangers of lead.

I need more evidence of a mass epidemic for such draconian efforts like the CPSIA. It really comes off like the stories in the 80's with the crises of the week, "Oh look, carrots cause cancer in rats."

I am not making light of it. I just want more info. Hard data. Numbers. Cause and effect.
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Melissa McKeagney
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jennifer,

I completely agree that there are real dangers with lead, and no one wants to inflict these dangers on the youth of America (or any other country for that matter).

The two pathways in which lead can be a hazard are ingestion and inhalation. I'm really not sure how lead (any amount really) in fabric could cause either of those two situations to occur.

Unless these kids are regularly eating their clothes, I'm just not sure that this is a real risk. As for charms and the like, I agree that they may pose a risk of ingestion. Lead in a button that might come off a garment is a real concern for very small children, which is why I will be getting those XRF tested. I do agree though that we run the risk of looking flippant about the real risks of these materials.

Melissa
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Eric H
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Joined: 02 Feb 2007
Posts: 205
Location: NM Albuquerque

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Melissa McKeagney wrote:
I'm really not sure how lead (any amount really) in fabric could cause either of those two situations to occur.


I'm pretty sure you can absorb some of these through the skin, too. But the real concern here is children chewing on their clothes. That's like one of the four things babies do: eat, sleep, poop, and put things in their mouths. Whether it is a concern for your average 11 yo is another story, but I think Jennifer's point, which is one I made a couple of months ago, is that there is no point arguing the problems of lead poisoning. The problems are the testing and documentation, full stop. We need to stay on point or we'll be handing ammunition to the special interest groups that forced this thing in the first place. They'll start comparing us to tobacco companies who denied the link with cancer.

Please believe me, I've been down this path before: you simply cannot win an argument with someone who is not above lying to the public if they think their cause is worthwhile, especially when they are talking about "the safety of our children" and resorting to every underhanded rhetorical device they can use.
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sweettmama
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:51 pm    Post subject: lead in fabrics... Reply with quote

Our skin is the largest organ and irritants can cause rashes and other skin issues. The child doesn't have to suck or chew their clothing to be affected by it. Carter recalled their 2007 line of clothes that had the tagless labels because of skin rashes. Skin is an effective conduit into the bloodstream (smoke patch and birth control patch come to mind). Sorry, I'm not a medical professional but there are many sensitive children out there that can react negatively to clothes with 'stuff' in it and on it. My nephew sucked the collars of his shirts until he was 6 years old. That too is a concern. I just think about all those questionable materials that are being used for iron-ons and such that are really thick and crack after the first wash...what's in that?
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Textilesavvy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GAP had to have pulled their yellow rainjacket from all stores which contained 3,500+ ppm of total lead content. This is extremely concerning...
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jen m
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:29 am    Post subject: Re: lead in fabrics... Reply with quote

sweettmama wrote:
Our skin is the largest organ and irritants can cause rashes and other skin issues. The child doesn't have to suck or chew their clothing to be affected by it. Carter recalled their 2007 line of clothes that had the tagless labels because of skin rashes. Skin is an effective conduit into the bloodstream (smoke patch and birth control patch come to mind). Sorry, I'm not a medical professional but there are many sensitive children out there that can react negatively to clothes with 'stuff' in it and on it. My nephew sucked the collars of his shirts until he was 6 years old. That too is a concern. I just think about all those questionable materials that are being used for iron-ons and such that are really thick and crack after the first wash...what's in that?


I agree with you to some degree but I think that the bigger issue is that the law isn't focused on risks. Most fabrics don't have lead. "Iron ons" and Vinyl are another issue. There are also many things that children come into contact with that aren't intended for them that have lead, there are lead in pipes in schools and houses...we could bounce those things back and forth forever. Eric says it perfectly above. If we don't focus on fixing the problems with the law, businesses will close that are making safe products and consumers will not have many options.
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